Vintage Pulp Aug 29 2011
HELL TO PAY
Crime doesn’t pay? Since when?

Above is a cover of Leverett Gleason’s Crime Does Not Pay, a classic comic book—unaffiliated with Myron Fass’s publication of the same name—that launched in 1942. The comic was nominally aimed at adults, however kids bought it in droves, and parental fears about youngsters reading the violent publication helped bring about the formation in 1954 of the Comics Code Authority. Under the baleful eye of CCA censors, Crime Does Not Pay lost its edge, quickly followed by its popularity, leading to its shuttering in 1955. However it remains highly collectible today, with asking prices ranging from $30.00 to $200.00. The cover art is by Bob Fujitani, who illustrated countless comics during a career that began in the early 1940s. The example above and those below are all circa 1950 and 1951. 

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History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
October 23
1935—Four Gangsters Gunned Down in New Jersey
In Newark, New Jersey, the organized crime figures Dutch Schultz, Abe Landau, Otto Berman, and Bernard "Lulu" Rosencrantz are fatally shot at the Palace Chophouse restaurant. Schultz, who was the target, lingers in the hospital for about a day before dying. The killings are committed by a group of professional gunmen known as Murder, Inc., and the event becomes known as the Chophouse Massacre.
1950—Al Jolson Dies
Vaudeville and screen performer Al Jolson dies of a heart attack in San Francisco after a trip to Korea to entertain troops causes lung problems. Jolson is best known for his film The Jazz Singer, and for his performances in blackface make-up, which were not considered offensive at the time, but have now come to be seen as a form of racial bigotry.
October 22
1926—Houdini Fatally Punched in Stomach
After a performance in Montreal, Hungarian-born magician and escape artist Harry Houdini is approached by a university student named J. Gordon Whitehead, who asks if it is true that Houdini can endure any blow to the stomach. Before Houdini is ready Whitehead strikes him several times, causing internal injuries that lead to the magician's death.
October 21
1973—Kidnappers Cut Off Getty's Ear
After holding Jean Paul Getty III for more than three months, kidnappers cut off his ear and mail it to a newspaper in Rome. Because of a postal strike it doesn't arrive until November 8. Along with the ear is a lock of hair and ransom note that says: "This is Paul’s ear. If we don’t get some money within 10 days, then the other ear will arrive. In other words, he will arrive in little bits." Getty's grandfather, billionaire oilman Jean Paul Getty, at first refused to pay the 3.2 million dollar ransom, then negotiated it down to 2.8 million, and finally agreed to pay as long as his grandson repaid the sum at 4% interest.

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